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East Coast Sox Scout Day Preview: Middle Infielders


Austin Sharp
Director of Scouting

We are excited to kick off the 2020 summer season with the East Coast Sox Scout Day, one of the premier travel ball organizations in the country. This event was originally scheduled to take place at Shelton State CC in Tuscaloosa, AL, but was recently changed to Q.V. Sykes Park in Meridian, Mississippi. The event will be one of our biggest to date, as there will roughly be 50 players in each session. Be sure to follow along on our Twitter (@PBR_Alabama) for pre-event, during the event, and post-event coverage. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to check out the itinerary for June 4th.

Prep Baseball Report is committed to providing a safe environment for all players and PBR staff in attendance. Social distancing and other guidelines will be followed strictly and thoroughly. Each player will have their own “safe zone” that will be six feet apart from each other. Dugouts will not be used and there will be numerous hand sanitizing stations throughout the complex and on the field.

Today, we want to take a look at some of the top primary shortstops and 2nd basemen that will be in attendance at the East Coast Sox Scout Day. This group is composed of players from Alabama and Mississippi. Two of these players below are already committed to Division 1 programs and two are ranked nationally in their respective classes. In addition to these, we are certain there will be other talented shortstop and 2nd basemen on hand. 

 

PRIMARY Shortstop & 2nd BASEMEN:

 

‘21 2B/SS Thaxton Berch, Jackson Prep (MS)

Very athletic with a strong arm in the infield.  Has an explosive lower half with a short bat path allowing for him to be a solid gap to gap hitter.6.83 runner. 82 mph exit velo from a year ago.

PBR MS Ranking: #36

’22 SS/2B Kyle Blevins, T.R. Miller

Solid actions on this ‘22 SS that started with the feet very slightly open. Very compact approach with no wasted movement in the setup or swing. The hands have present strength and the barrel creates some violence through the hitting zone. Does a nice job keeping the head still throughout and the swing plane is fairly flat. Love the finish with the barrel. Looked very natural at SS and did a nice job working the feet to present the glove out in front. Showed a quick release and the arm strength is nice and throws were on target to 1B.

PBR AL Ranking: #40

’22 SS/2B William Burgreen, Decatur

Athletic, switch hitting middle infielder that appeared to be much more physical with the barrel than we have seen him in the past. Slightly open with the feet from both sides of the plate with a nice load of the hands and bat speed. Stays through contact well very and showed a gap to gap approach from both sides. Looked more natural and better rhythm in the hands from the left side. Can really defend with the glove and moves well laterally to the backhand side and glove side. Showed the ability to throw from different arm slots and throws had carry on them.

PBR AL Ranking: #18

’23 SS/RHP Walter Ford, Hoover

On the mound, Ford showed premium stuff and arm strength. Really pounded the zone with all three pitches from an athletic delivery. The fastball obviously came out of the hand easily and showed some late life. The fastball sat 89-91 mph with spin rates in the mid 2100’s- low 2300’s. The breaking ball showed sharp downward tilt at 75-78 mph. The change up showed plus deception in the lower 80’s and can be a plus pitch. Explosive arm. Ford was also impressive during the infield portion and he showed nice range laterally and the arm strength once again jumped out as he was 88 to 1B. The feet are even in the stance at the plate and he shows a simple, yet powerful approach at the plate. There is slight tilt in the swing plane and the barrel shows some violence in the hitting zone. Showed a middle to pull side approach and was 89 mph off the tee. A definite two way ‘23 big time guy.

Commitment: Alabama

PBR AL Ranking: #1

PBR National Ranking: #41

‘23 SS/2B RJ Hamilton, Hoover

Athletic, strong build for the ‘23 grad. Square stance at the plate with an athletic setup. Line drive approach, swings with intent. Sneaky power with the ability to hit for extra bases. Very good runner. Reliable with the glove, can stick at shortstop. Above average arm strength across the diamond. Very rangy defender, seems to glide to balls with very good feet. Also one of the top WR’s in Alabama on the gridiron. 

PBR AL Ranking: #6

’21 2B/3B Michael Hopkinson, Faith Academy

The feet and the glove are plus and he does a nice job reading balls off the and getting in position for an easy hop. Shows nice lateral range and the ability to throw from different arm slots. The arm strength continues to impress as he was 83 mph across the diamond and once again ran a sub 7.0 60 yard dash. At the plate, there is some “whip” in the hands and he does a nice job of keeping the hands and barrel inside the baseball. During BP, he showed a solid middle of the field approach with power from foul line to foul line. Does a nice job getting his weight back to the launch position and has a well synced swing. The bat path has some tilt in it and he does a nice job with the top hand. ‘21 grad that does nothing but impress each time we see him.

Commitment: Samford

PBR AL Ranking: #53

’22 SS/2B Jonah Katsaboulas, Brandon (MS)

5-foot-10, 160-pound . At the plate, the right-handed hitter had an exit velocity of 82 mph. Began in an open tall  stance with a small load, then used a short stride to start his swing. Displayed explosive bat speed, an uphill swing plane and extension on his finish. Gap to gap approach. In the infield, showed his ability to throw 77 mph across the diamond; has a twitchy exchange, athletic footwork and next level hands. Fields the ball out front while his movements laterally were athletic. Used a short arm action with a high ¾ slot. He recorded a 60 time of 7.13

PBR MS Ranking: #38

’22 2B/OF Jay McCants, Mobile Christian

This young player was very impressive at an event and showed some quick twitch actions with the swing. From the left side, his swing looked the exact same swing after swing. The feet are even and the hands are set slightly back. There is no wasted action and the hands really work well through the zone. Stays short through the zone and gets nice extension through the finish. Showed a mature middle approach. Good runner who also showed solid defensive actions. Things looked easy in the dirt and he looked very natural going to the back side. May factor more at 2B as he showed a short arm action. Like the athleticism of this ‘22 grad.

PBR AL Ranking: #71

’22 SS/RHP Mason Morris, Tupelo (MS)

One of the more physically imposing players that will be at the event. 6-foot-4 210 pound frame that hits for extra bases at the dish. Simple swing that has some uphill tilt in his bat path that allows him to hit for power. Stands tall in the box with a square stance. Doubles as an impressive RHP on the mound that has more in the tank. One to watch on June 4th.

PBR MS Ranking: #14

PBR National Ranking: #217

 

JUNE 4 ITINERARY

Location: Q.V. Sykes Park (Meridian, MS)

Infielders, Outfielders, Catchers

  • Stretching
  • Running Times (60 Yard Dash- -laser timed)
  • Offensive Evaluation
    • Mechanical evaluation
    • Exit velocity (from a tee)
    • Live batting practice
  • Defensive Evaluations (OF's, Catchers, INF's)
    • Arm strength
    • Defensive mobility
    • Positional projectability

Pitchers & Catchers

  • Catchers stay for both sessions
  • Stretching
  • Bullpen Sessions   
    • Mechanical evaluation
    • Charting velocity and pitch action
    • Catcher's Evaluations During Bullpens

 

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